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Understanding FMCSR Part 393 Subpart B, including §393.11 – Lamps and Reflective Devices

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Lamps and reflective devices are essential for visibility and safety on roadways, roadsides, and in parking lots. Subpart B of Part 393, including §393.11, of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) specifies the requirements for lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment for all commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and trailers.

As a motor carrier, it is your responsibility to ensure all your CMVs comply with Subpart B, Section 393.11 and that accurate maintenance records are kept. Lamp and reflective device regulations vary based on the types of CMVs and trailers in your fleet, and managing compliance can get complicated quickly.

Our safety professionals at National Transportation Consultants have years of experience helping fleet managers evaluate and maintain their DOT compliance. If you are not sure whether your CMVs violate Subpart B, Section 393.11, we can help you stay on the road with our DOT compliance services.

FMCSR §393.11 lamp and reflector placement guidelines

Table of required lamps and reflectors on CMVs: Find requirements for type, count, color, and placement, based on the type of CMV.

DOT lighting requirement diagrams for trucks: Find illustrations for lamp and reflector requirements, based on the type of CMV.

Conspicuity systems for trailers

The DOT requires trailers to have certain reflective devices, or conspicuity systems. Requirements for retroreflective sheeting, reflex reflectors, or a combination of the two apply to all trailers with GVWR over 10,000 pounds, overall width of 80 inches or more, and manufactured on or after December 1, 1993.

Exceptions include pole trailers and trailers designed exclusively for living/office use. Requirements vary for pole trailers and trailer converter dollies based on their time of manufacture.

What happens if a motor carrier is cited with a §393.11 violation?

CMVs that do not have the required lamps and reflective devices violate FMSCR §393.11. These violations are most often identified in DOT roadside inspections, and receiving a citation may include fines and even Out-Of-Service (OOS) orders.

OOS orders make it illegal to operate the vehicle until the OOS condition is corrected. If your company receives an OOS order, you must take it seriously. Continuing to operate a CMV that has been declared OOS can result in driver disqualification and additional fines.

Staying in compliance with Subpart B, §393.11

Brand-new CMVs produced for US interstate commerce should meet §393.11 requirements. But as soon as trucks begin operating, they suffer wear and tear on the roads. Lightbulbs go out, reflectors break, and your trucks may no longer be compliant.

Maintaining compliance means establishing regular maintenance and safety checks to ensure lamps and reflectors are in good working order. Training programs from NTC can help you educate your drivers and develop safety checks that fit your fleet’s needs.

If you have previously received an OOS order, you must fix the issue and carefully document repairs so you can show that the violation was corrected. Our managed services program helps you keep records organized and easily accessible.

Don’t let a nonfunctioning lamp or reflector land you with a DOT violation. Contact our experts to get customized compliance solutions that make sense for your business.